Phenomenology of cognitive styles in management: the correlations between cognitive styles and strategic types
The article shows that different behavioral profiles of chief executives are related to different types of prevailing strategies. Following hypothesis is analyzed in the article: individual methods of how information is collected, evaluated, and processed, intrinsic to a manager, could be also reflected in his/her strategic decisions. It is proved that expansion strategy, being applied in saturated market, demands the «conqueror» type of manager that can be described as creatively oriented to all new, with broad and rational thinking. A strong leader with systemic approach, common sense and clear reasoning is the managerial type that fits well with strategy of growth. Prudent and formal type of manager, whose behavior is characterized by reactivity and leaning on prescribed procedures, will possess probably the most adequate set of characteristics for realization of slipping strategy (when a company has negative internal potential). Strategy of reduction, that presumes negative growth, requires diplomatic type of manager, whose style of thinking authors describe as wide and multi-aspect. The aim of our article is theoretical development of idea of connection between cognitive style of a manager and his/her strategic decisions. Many similarities were educed between ideal types of organizations for managers with different cognitive styles and typology of Miles and Snow. Previous research that studied cognitive styles were often concentrated on the process of decision-making instead of strategic decisions; such demographical parameters, as age, socio-economic origin or education level were used for explanation of strategic choices. However, based on these characteristics it has been possible to explain different strategic choices done by managers based on identical information. Thus, cognitive style of a manager is the key link able to explain differences in strategic choices. It is underlined that differences in strategic decisions take place foremost not from differences in available information, but rather from different interpretations of such information, that managers make in accordance with their own cognitive styles.
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